Kim Davis ordered to pay $260K for refusing to issue marriage license to gay couple: judge

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Kim Davis addresses the media just before the doors are opened to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office in Morehead, Kentucky, September 14, 2015.REUTERS

(CP) Former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis must pay $260,000 in attorneys’ fees and other expenses for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015.

United States District Judge David L. Bunning of the Eastern District of Kentucky issued a memorandum opinion and order last week awarding plaintiffs $246,026.40 in attorneys’ fees and an additional $14,058.30 in other expenses.

“The Court is mindful that in this case, Plaintiffs not only prevailed, but obtained the result sought. They sought to vindicate their fundamental right to marry and obtain marriage licenses; and they did so,” wrote Bunning.

“The Court has reviewed the Plaintiffs’ submissions and finds that the hours expended, and the rates charged to be reasonable.”

The Liberty Counsel, which has been representing Davis during her years-long legal proceedings, announced on Tuesday that they were going to appeal the decision and were willing to go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit if their appeal fails.

The conservative law firm noted that, in December 2015, then Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order granting religious exemptions to all clerks in the state.

“This case is far from over,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver, as quoted in the announcement. “Because of Kim Davis, every clerk in Kentucky now has the freedom to serve as an elected official without compromising their religious convictions and conscience.”

“This case has the potential to extend the same religious freedom protections beyond Kentucky and to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, which was wrongly decided and should be overturned.”

In 2015, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state-level gay marriage bans in the 5-4 Obergefell decision, then-Rowan County Clerk Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis was briefly jailed for her refusal to issue the licenses and was later sued by David Ermold and David Moore, one of the same-sex couples she had refused to give a marriage license to.

Last September, a federal jury awarded Ermold and Moore $50,000 each in damages in their lawsuit against Davis, which is in addition to the $260,000 that Bunning ordered Davis to pay.

Joe Buckles, who helped represent Moore and Ermold, told National Public Radio last year that he was “thrilled” by the jury’s decision and his clients were “completely vindicated.”

“The Supreme Court says that my clients have a constitutional right to marry under the 14th Amendment,” Buckles continued. “But this case isn’t really about [Davis’] religion. The case isn’t really about our clients’ right to marry. The case is about a government official that just refused to do her job. It’s a pretty simple case.”

© The Christian Post

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